Saturday, December 3, 2022

Arsenal Players Rated In Their Soul Crushing Loss To Atletico Madrid: Lacazette And Monreal Get 7/10

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

No fairytale ending to Arsene Wenger’s reign at Arsenal as they lost out to Atletico Madrid 1-0 tonight. The La Liga outfit will be progressing to the final of the competition after beating the Gunners on 2-1 aggregate win.

Both teams had a real go at each other but Madrid always looked like the more assertive side.

They picked off the Arsenal defence on the counter and got themselves the crucial goal just a minute before the first-half ending whistle.

The Gunners lost possession in midfield and Antoine Greizmann quickly squared the ball over to Diego Costa. The former Chelsea striker got the head start over Bellerin and calmly chipped the ball over David Ospina with his weaker right.

The second half was pretty much a similar tale of Arsenal trying to score the equalizer and Madrid trying to hit back on the counter. In the end, the hosts managed to hold onto their slim lead and ended the night with the 1-0 scoreline.

An apt understanding of why Wenger’s position at the club is coming to an end. His men lacked vigour, enthusiasm and hunger to really impose their will on the Madrid team.

Such has been the tale for the entirety of the season and for some of the last few. A failing system will only take you so far even if you bags of talent within a squad.

While the Frenchman might still be deeply in love with the game and the club but there was not even a slight hint of his will or competitiveness in his side tonight.

Madrid did not need to be at their very best to finish the night as the dominant side. It is only fitting to see them reach the final rather than the North London side within their own abilities have been nothing other than just mediocre.

Here are how the Arsenal players were rated on the night.

David Ospina – 5/10

Where is the communication? It was frustrating to see the Colombian lose the ball time and time again due to his failure to connect with his defenders.

Otherwise, he did grab hold of a few shots from the opposition quite well but then again let down the team with his shoddy distribution.

Nacho Monreal – 7/10

The coolest and most sensible head on the defensive end. The Spaniard fell back to make uncountable interceptions and challenges and surged ahead to help out on the attacks. The only criticism of his game can be placed on his final deliveries, especially in the late stages.

Laurent Koscielny – 5/10

Looked far too distressed upon picking up the injury and was stretchered off.

But the time that he was on the pitch was not exactly impressive. He got bullied off the ball by Costa quite easily and allowed the Spaniard a free shot on goal.

Shkodran Mustafi – 5/10

With games like this, his days in an Arsenal jersey are very much numbered. Not at all decisive with his tackling or his positioning.

Instead of carrying over to cover Costa he was found loitering aimlessly inside his own box for the Madrid goal.

Hector Bellerin – 5/10

Just one error throughout the match ended up costing his team. The fullback was far too ahead in an offensive position and did not track the run of Costa.

He was otherwise adventurous on the attack and was a constant threat down the right.

Granit Xhaka – 5/10

Another night of good and bad for the Swiss international. He looked calm with possession but could not make it count when it really mattered. Had one decent shot on target.

Aaron Ramsey – 5/10

Worked hard throughout the 90 but somehow could not make a significant impact other than one mishit in the Atletico box.

Jack Wilshere – 6/10

Same goes for Wilshere but was still better out of the two. The 26-year-old linked up the attacks well and pressed the opposition.

Mesut Ozil – 6/10

His display was not worth his reputation and it was really hard to spot any flare in the German’s showing tonight. He got into threatening positions on a couple of occasions but lacked the cutting edge.

Danny Welbeck – 6/10

Much better than the rest of his midfield teammates but not particularly eye-catching. Won back possession a few times and did attack the Madrid goal.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7/10

Sad to see him get delegated to playmaking responsibilities rather than being allowed to do what he is best at, scoring goals.

You’ll find a tireless runner in the Frenchman who constantly dropped deep to help out his team. He even delivered some of the best crosses inside the box.

Substitutes:

Calum Chambers – 4/10

Never adjusted to the pace of the game as the Englishman made all the wrong moves tonight.

Costa turned him into his plaything tonight and Chambers danced to each and every one of his spells.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6/10

Looked lively upon his arrival and did manage to strike a threatening volley.

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